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Retirement Benefits Expanded For State Employees

Information is provided by the office of 28th District State Sen. Joey Hensley R-Hohenwald who represents Giles and five other counties in the state senate.

The 112th General Assembly has adjourned for 2022, and it was a very successful year. We have taken measures for Tennessee to be a better place to live, work and to raise a family. I will go over laws passed this session over the next few weeks.

Recognizing military service for retirement credit / state employees – To honor the service and sacrifice of military veterans, a new law expands retirement benefits for state employees who served in armed conflicts.

Previously, state law allowed military veterans who served prior to 1975 to receive time served in the military credited to the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS) for up to four years at no cost to the employee.

The new law adds to the code by allowing those who served in armed conflicts after 1975 to purchase up to four years of service credit in TCRS. Each year of service credited to TCRS would cost nine percent of their current annual pay.

Offering veterans the day off on Veterans’ Day — A new law ensures veterans have the ability to take Veterans Day off as a non-paid holiday.

It defines a veteran as a former member of the armed forces of the United States, or a former or current member of a reserve or Tennessee national guard unit who was called into active military service of the United States.

Veterans organizations — A new law seeks to protect nonprofit veterans organizations from unnecessary lawsuits.

The new law extends protections currently offered to non profit organizations - 501(c)(3) - to nonprofit veterans organizations - 501(c)(19) - by providing immunity from suits arising from the conduct of the affairs of the organization as long as that conduct does not constitute gross negligence.

Lowering tuition costs for out-of-state military - A new law will allow active-duty military and veterans living outside of Tennessee to be eligible for in-state tuition rates.

The measure specifically authorizes the boards of state universities to choose to offer in-state tuition to veterans. Previously, veterans had to live in the state, though their formal residence may be out of the state, to receive in-state tuition.

Under the new law, active-duty military, U.S. Army Reserve, members of the National Guard and Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets would be eligible for in-state tuition, regardless of residence.

Standing up for Israel – A new law prohibits a public entity from contracting with a company unless the contract includes a written certification that the company is not and will not for the duration of the contract be engaged in a boycott of Israel.

It includes an exemption for contracts with a total value less than $250,000 and contractors with fewer than 10 employees.

The law is the strongest anti-BDS legislation in the country. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement promotes boycotts, divestments and economic sanctions against Israel.

Protecting the U.S. southern border and building the wall — The General Assembly passed House Joint Resolution 652 urging congress to complete a secure border wall on the U.S. southern border.

The resolution states the General Assembly “strongly support[s] the completion of the secure border wall across our nation's southern border and strongly urge[s] the United States Congress to immediately act to fund the construction of such a border wall without delay.”

Ukraine — The Senate unanimously passed a resolution, which honors Ukrainians for defending their country against Russian invasion.

The Senate and House also passed Senate Joint Resolution 1147, which urges disconnecting Russian banks from the Society for Worldwide Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), expelling Russian diplomats from the U.S. and banning Russian imports.

Sen. Hensley may be reached at 425 Rep. John Lewis Way N., Suite 742, Nashville TN 37243, or by calling 615-741-3100, or call toll free at 1-800-449-8366 ext. 13100, or by faxing 615-253-0231.

His district address is 855 Summertown Highway, Hohenwald, Tn., 38462, or call 931-796-2018, or call his cell phone at 931-212-8823. His email: sen.joey.hensley@capitol.tn.gov


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